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that's it for 360. i'll see you tomorrow. "piers morgan" starts now. tonight, $14 trillion, washington says that's not enough to keep the government running. >> republicans refuse to be drawn into this. >> it could give shock waves to the entire global system. >> we cannot go on scaring the american people. we need to be truthful. >> next, two men who have a lot to say about government, taxes and you. money expert dave ramsey and cory booker. america in the balance. this is piers morgan tonight. good evening. if someone doesn't do something in 19 days and three hours, this country will technically run out of money simply put, the government won't be able to
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borrow any more cash if congress and the white house can't figure out a way to raise the debt ceiling currently stands a mouth watering 14.3 $14.3 trillion. the situation is so dire, moody's, the bond rating service says it's putting america's gold rated aaa status under ve view and could be headed for an unprecedented default. >> massachusetts governor says it's the republicans to blame. why do you say that? you guys are in the white house, aren't you? >> thank you for having me. this is a time we need a lot less politics and a lot more patriotism. what the president has done is put on the table a very balanced approach. it favors and is overwhelmingly weighted in favor of cuts, some to programs that democrats have championed a long, long time. he has also quite reasonably
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with the support of economists across the political spectrum put on the table the idea of additional revenues so that we have a serious response to the deficit and that as a president clinton to raising the debt ceiling. the response has been, from some on the radical right who seem like they'd be willing to drive the economy off a cliff if that's what it would mean mean -- that's what it would take to defeat this president. that's the sort of behavior we need to put aside and have more patriotism to solve a crisis, facing this country. >> you said the strategy is to drive america to the brink of fiscal ruin and argue the only way out is cut spending for the powerless. you're open to suggest we're at pre-election politics at its most ruthless. it's been put to me by many people, i'll put it to you, the republican strategy is simply president obama is weak on the economy, so hammer him when he's
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down and you might win the election. that seems to be what some of the gop are thinking. >> i'm sure that's right. i think that that conversation didn't start frankly with this president. it was in the previous administration, the george w. bush administration, when we started two wars and paid for them with a credit card, we started a costly prescription benefit program and used borrowed money for it. used borrowed money to pay for the tax cuts. the deficit has been accumulating in fact ballooning through the previous administration and here we are today with the radical right. i don't say all republicans because i don't believe this character rises all republicans. there are some on that radical fringe who seem to be in charge or driving the agenda in the congress right now and they are
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making the possibility of a balanced solution very very difficult. i'm hopeful and i think most americans are, as citizens, i say this as a citizen, not just as governor, that a balanced break through will come in the end and soon. >> president obama obviously inherited by common consent a big hospital pass in terms of the state of the economy, not just in america but around the world, very very tough to pull out of any kind of rapid way. having said that, as we head towards another election year, there will be critics and you will have heard them, that say you can't keep blaming the republicans for what you inherited. president obama, under his administration, the jobless figures are still terrible, 9.2% of americans are out of work. do you feel disappointed that there's been no greater inroad into those jobless figures? >> i feel very disappointed there hasn't been more inroad into those jobless figures. i feel disappointed frankly there hasn't been more bipartisan bipartisan cooperation on solutions. here in massachusetts, we have like states across the country faced huge unprecedented budget gaps, taking that same balanced approach with cuts and use of stimulus reserves and modest tax increases and change in the way
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a lot of our state government does business, we have closed a $14 billion gap, cumulative gap over the past three years, our budgets are balanced, responsible, on time, growing jobs feast aster than 46 other states. our bond ratings are stronger and good fiscal outlook an unemployment is coming down. why? we're not just cutting, investing in education, innovation and infrastructure just as the president wants to do but hasn't been able to get that kind of cooperation from a majority on the other side. that's the kind of balance i say the president has been talking about, urging, the character of approach to the deficit reduction talks and frankly to this whole administration. i hope it's an opportunity when the other side, as i say, will put aside some of their own
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politics and come to the table in a spirit of patriotism and solve the nation's problems. >> i congratulate you on your sterling work in massachusetts. if you're doing so well there, maybe you should be in the white house, have you thought of that? >> don't start something now, pierce. i'm with the guy in the white house right now, i'm excited about and will work hard to get him re-elected because i think his leadership once in a generation visionary unifying leadership is exactly the kind of leadership we need today. >> thank you very much, governor, it's been a pleasure talking to you. >> thanks for having me. good evening. >> on the other side of the issue is the man leading the no new taxes charge, grover norquist, president for tax reform. he joins me now. my issue looking on it from the
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outside in terms of republican opposition to raising the debt ceiling, when you actually analyze the statistics here, since 1960, congress raised, extended or tweaked the debt limit 78 times. of those, 49 of those changes have occurred during republican administrations and under the bush administration, gop leaders voted 19 times to increase the debt limit. isn't it a bit hypocrite ical to being throwing the toys out now and saying democrats can't do it given how often the republicans have done it? >> as you know, of course, barack obama voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was a senator and is now playing politics from the other side claiming you're supposed to do this to give the president the money he wants. here's the challenge we have. under barack obama he threw $800 million at the stimulus package. it was supposed to create jobs and he wasted $800 billion. we would not be up against the debt ceiling if he hadn't wasted $800 billion in the stimulus package and now have over a
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million americans out of work. things have gotten worse not better. he can't whine bush left him it with a bad situation, he made it worse. i wasn't happy with bush's spending but barack obama's spending is a trillion dollars worse every single year. >> let me ask you on a percentage basis, what percentage of the current state of the american economy is down to the republicans and their administrations before president obama and how much is down to him? i want you to be brutally honest. >> let's take a look at afghanistan, as a piece of that. under bush, we had about 30,000 troops there. that was tripled during the
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obama administration. so two-thirds of the cost of afghanistan was put into place under obama. >> hang on, hang on, hang on, it wasn't president obama that took america into war in afghanistan. >> you asked for percentage. >> i'm talking about if you analyze the percentage of blame here, then surely you have to go back to decisions that were taken which helped collectively to create this crisis. although you keep presenting other arguments, give me a straight percentage. what percentage of blame, as we stand here today, should be apportioned to republican decision making? >> well, again, you just asked about a number and i said of the cost of the afghan war, the whole afghan war today -- >> why are you avoiding my question. >> is $20 billion. i'm trying to give you a percentage of for instance the afghan war, two-thirds of the cost there this year was put in by obama. that's one piece of the puzzle. >> but 100% of the decision to go to war was taken by the bush administration. that's my point. although republicans are blaming everything on obama now, a lot of the stuff he's having to deal with, if you're being fair about this, was actually caused by decisions taken by the republicans.
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>> okay. >> wasn't it? >> are you not remembering that barack obama campaigned for president on the idea that the afghan war was the right war, that he was for all of that, and you want to explain -- >> i'm not saying that he agreed or disagreed. it doesn't really matter but the point is- >> you're asking for a partisan blame to be apportioned here, right? >> no. you're talking about the split of the cost of the afghan war. what i'm saying is actually it was a bush decision. so when you actually analyze exactly the percentage blame, that's why i've been trying to get you to put a percentage on it, it's an interesting exercise, isn't it? >> you want to argue why medicare and medicaid are going bankrupt, those were created by democrats. do you want to go back to that and play partisan politics? get away from partisan politics. >> put it all in the mix. >> and solve the problem. >> put it all in the mix, everything taken into account, percentage of the current crisis down to republican decisions versus democrat. give me a percentage.
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>> well, okay, the republicans put forward a budget under ryan cut 6 $6 trillion out of the obama budget. obama has accepted none of that so he's 100% responsible. >> so president obama is 100% responsible for our current financial crisis. >> for the failure to get our spending down. >> isn't your answer exactly what the problem is? for you to sit there and look me straight in the eye down this camera and say president obama is 100% responsible for the financial crisis in america? it's obviously complete hogwash. that kind of partisan opinion is what is preventing any kind of sensible deal a strategy being sensible deal a strategy being achieved, isn't it? >> i started this conversation discussing that bush spent too much money or allowed too much money to be spent during his presidency. there were four years of the bush presidency where you had bush and the republican house and the republican senate. the last two years of the bush presidency, a democratic house
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and senate, so bush didn't have too much control over spending, but for four years, it really was a republican decision on taxes, spending, economic policy, with the understanding the democrats filibustered a number of challenges but bush allowed spending to go up too much. bush spent too much. that was a big problem. the challenge, of course, is that obama took that and put his foot on the accelerator and we got really much more significant problems, but, again, now, we're trying to fix these problems. i'm not interested in apportioning blame on a percentage basis but let's look forward. the republican house of representatives, if you want to look at the partisan side of that, they put forward a budget. they actually passed a budget. the democratic estimate hasn't even written or passed a budget for two years. two years. the president of the united
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states is only now showing up for discussions. he spent the last three months raising $86 million of political money, not spending time focused on this problem, and now he wants to show up and tell everybody else to eat their peas when his party in the senate hasn't even passed a budget not this year but this year or last year and he hasn't put forward a serious budget period. >> but my issue is that when there are such extreme partisan views being expressed, then we could end up with a situation where come august american soldiers in afghanistan and iraq don't get paid. from where i sit, that is a complete disgrace. the politicians should just sort this mess out, shouldn't they? >> they should. and the president has known for six months all he has to do is put forward 2 $2 trillion worth of spending restraint, okay, and he's added 9 $9 trillion in spending over the next decade so you only have to pull part of his increased spending back, 2 $2 trillion and the republicans
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will cheerfully vote to increase the debt ceiling. the president hasn't even begun to focus on that. >> brian norquist, thank you very much indeed. >> thank you. cities and states could be on the hook when we come back. my exclusive interview with a mon who knows a lot about that. new york's mayor, cory booker. you could save a bundle with geico's multi-policy discount. geico, saving people money on more than just car iance. ♪ geic
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[ male announcer ] if you find a lower rate on a room you've booked, we won't just match it. we'll give you $50 towards your next trip. [ gnome ] it's go time. the debt battle in washington has serious implications to cities across this country. joining me is one mayor who knows about it. new york's mayor, cory booker, how are you? >> i'm doing great. thank you for having me. >> in your experience of things, how much is going on right now in terms of this impasse between republicans and democrats is political and how much of it is actually about an ideology involving how to deal with the finances of this country? >> i can't say i know the hearts and minds of the congress people in the federal government. it's frightening and scary what's happening.
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i never could have imagined those four words, full faith and credit of our country would get to a point that's being challenged the way it is now. politicians, you can list-inch to them. i prefer to talk to experts, banks and businesses all very concerned because this will have catastrophic implications. i pray people aren't playing a dangerous short term political gain that will have long term profound economic impact on our country. i really pray people are focused on the mission to preserve the strength of our nation economically. >> the problem, it seems to me in terms of politics we are heading into an election quite soon and the republicans have clearly identified the economy which is very weak as a genuine point they can attack president obama and potentially beat him. given that state of affairs, it's not in their interest politically to get him out of this hole, is it? >> it will be very clear, if people want to play brinks millionship with the debt
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ceiling and ultimately we are unable to pay our debts or worse unable to pay our military or social security recipients and others, what will happen is send shock waves through our economy, drive interest rates up, cripple businesses all around our country. my prayer is to put principle and purpose over politics. if republicans play this game or anybody on both sides of the political aisle want to play this game for their own personal benefit. i really play americans make the right decision and get those people out of office. >> when you see the statistics here, figures, most people watching this will not be able to comprehend, really, the scale of this. when you're already 14 trillion dollars in debt as a country, this is a pretty hideous situation for america to find itself in, given now all these emerging countries, china, india, brazil and so on, all beginning to boom economically, it's the worst possible time for america to be in this position, isn't it?
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>> it is. the debt ceiling is the wrong point of controversy. to me, that's very obvious. this is not for future debt, debts we already owe. the truth is we are breaking in this country, the first rule of holes, when you're in a hole, you should stop digging. we haven't done that. we have a strushl budget -- structural budget deficit eating away at the core of our country, like a cancer continuing to grow. unless we stop that in a responsible way, forget this short term economic crisis we have, we will dig a hole so deep our children will never get out of it and undermine america's strength and leadership on the globe. if you think about it, the point at which americans became -- we became the dominant superpower
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in the country wasn't immediately after world war ii, many historians will point to the suez crisis where britain was involved in an action we told them not to be involved in and britain said, no, we're going forward with our interest there and america threatened using economic policy because we held so much of their debt. i am scared of the day america -- foreign policy will be affected by those people who hold our debt and they will be able to reign control over us. this is very crucial. >> if i could go on that, we know who you're talking about, china already owns more than a quarter of america's debt. that's a staggering amount of debt to be held by one nation. at the moment, they haven't flexed their muscles in the way you just discussed but they could, couldn't they? >> absolutely. that's what i worry about. i think the future of foreign policy is going to be even more, i think it already is, even more controlled by economic interests and economic strength. that's why america should be focusing in my opinion and i think often like the president says, healing our economy and strengthening our nation economically and relieving us, like we are addicts right now, relieving us on debt. ultimately, it will involve pain.
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this is something i fear our nation needs to focus on a little bit more. you can't get something for nothing. as a great leader said frederick douglass, you can't get everything you pay for but must pay for everything you get. this is a time of sacrifice in our country, not being called to storm beaches in normandy or freedom rides to the south but this nation has to make sacrifices and difficult decisions and high level of commitment to get out of this perilous situation we are now in. >> i think you've raised a very good point there. it comes down to personal responsibility, everyone who is balance sheeting about the situation we're in and blaming the government and so on, there's no doubt that most persons have overspent personally, at any level in the last decade. that was one of the reasons why we saw the huge housing boom and collapse and banking crisis and so on. everybody, really, in whatever way big or small has a bit of responsibility for the situation, doesn't it?
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>> for me, it's never about pointing blame. so easy to point fingers. in america, we can't get caught up in the finger-pointing blame. yes, there are problems with big banks and packaging of these mortgages but also people, i saw in my community jumping into homes they couldn't afford. again, it's not time to vilify people, time for us to take a deeper sense of collective responsibility. even if you feel your hands are clean, the truth of the matter is as long as we are one nation under god and have to find one solution because we have one destiny. >> those are powerful words there. i think it would be good to come back after this break and you tell americans what they don't want to hear. right now, go to priceline for a sneak peek at recent winning and better than ever! hotel bids to find where you n save up to 60% on hotels. * we'll even email you other people's winning bids,
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back with newark mayor, cory booker. you were talking powerfully about the fact americans haven't really heard what they need to hear because it's not good news. if you were running the country right now and could talk to americans in a way that perhaps woke them up to reality, what would you say? >> first of all, i have a lot of faith in the leader that we have in the white house. i think he gets a lot of bum rap. he is often the adult in the room, does talk about taking our medicine, or as he said
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recently, eating our peas. what frustrates me is obama seems a very pragmatic person but he's struggling with people on both sides of our political aisle who are often more stuck in ideology than they are on practicalities. as mayor, i don't have that luxury. there are mayors all around america that have to balance budgets, can't rack up debt, have to meet the urgent needs of a community and ultimately, have to serve those people being cut out of the american dream. for me, i just have impatience with the way washington works, i think a lot of us do. even when they do great things, like put something together like the simpson bowls commission es commission and have democrats and republicans sit down and talk about issues and before they can even finish letting the ink dry, they're being attacked from the left and the right. i see we in america, most of us, actually are far more alike than we are different. we have a lot more of a common ideals.
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we tend to lean left often often -- excuse me, lean right with our wallets and lean left a little bit with social issues, we don't want governments in our bedroom, don't want government intruding into our lives. on the praccalities, what my hope is we begin to face them, even if they're politically unpopular. for social security, we're going to have to extend the time before you can collect social security. it doesn't affect the people that are there now but those of us who are my age, in their 30s and 40s, we need to recognize we can't start collecting social security as early as our parents did. these are a lot of very pragmatic things. looking at some benefits as simpson-bowles said, we should mean test some of these things so there are not those struggling working poor in our country are not losing out on benefits when the wealthy can afford to go without them. there are a lot of things -- >> let me ask you, mr. mayor, one of the problems president
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obama faces is all this is all very well but he has to get the republicans to sign off on a deal here. as we've seen before, to do that, he has to comment promise his principles, keep giving tax breaks for the rich and so on, otherwise he won't get the deal done. are you comfortable with that or do you think the time is coming a democratic president has to basically say, no, i'm going to do this in the way a democrat would do this. that's why i was elected. if it goes to the brink and i have to call the republicans bluff, i will do that. >> first of all, i know this from barack and i believe it true, i feel it in my heart and my core, i'm an american always before i'm a democrat. democratic party is just that. it's a party, a political place with which people fall often with similar ideas. let's get to the truth of the matter. our country is in crisis and we really need leadership. what some people call caving and i heard that on my side of the political aisle he caved when he made a compromise on the bush cuts. what i saw in newark from a
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pragmatic way, there's more money available for residents to go to college and small businesses could make major capital spences and write them down. immediately residents got a thousand dollars or more tax reduction in their pockets and stimulated the economy and gave them a push. that compromise in a pragmatic way benefitted cities like mine and places around the country. when did compromise become a dirty word? it's ridiculous when people draw lines in the sand and won't do what the american political process was made for, people of different perspectives coming together and finding a common hole that ultimately can move their country forward. i'm tired of this attitude that if i compromise my stance on tax
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cuts or something like that for some reason i've given into the enemy. when did we as americans become each other's enemy? there are people hurting in this country to a degree i have not seen in my lifetime. there is real pain going on. yet somehow our politics is not serving to empower those people in our nation and nor is it doing the necessary things to expand our economy. i'll give you an example of this. we had a horrendous attack about 12 miles from where i sit right now on 9/11. and for me, it was a time that we should cleave to our ideals more than throw them out the window. now here we are 10 years later and we're punishing immigrants coming to our country, whether it's the american dream act or college presidents i talk to that as soon as somebody comes to our universities and gets the best education in the world, we're ready to kick them out of our country right away. this is a time we're putting our fear before our faith in our principles and our ideals. we have to stop that. what built america, made us the number one economy in human existence, are the kind of ideals and value we need to be putting back into our economy right now.
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what does it take to build- >> hold that thought, mr. mayor. that's a fascinating point. i will come back after this break and ask you what i think is the key problem. how do you get americans who are without work back to work and how does america really reinvent this business model so they can start to make things the rest of the world actually needs and will pay for? [ male announcer ] things seem better with travelocity's best price guarantee.
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back with mayor cory booker. mr. mayor, the big problem in america is you have 9.2% of the population out of work. in a simple way, what is the most effective way that you have seen to get them back to work or the best plan that you've heard? >> first of all, this is the thing we have to get out of the habit of. america is looking for simple solutions to complicated
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problems. there's not one light switch. we have an intelligent enough population to understand that. any politician that wants to sell some simplistic answer like just give tax cuts to rich people and that will benefit our economy, we have to get away from that. we are nuanced enough as a nation to understand the complexity of our challenges and we need leaders to tell us that. let me go through a few things i think are difficult but important. number one, we can't shirk on education in this country. we will never ever in a global knowledge-based economy, never have a leading economy if we have a lagging education system. america is in dramatic fashion falling behind. our greatest natural resource is not oil or coal, the greatest natural resource in this kind of global economy is how well we educate our children. it is disastrous what's going on right now. this is the greatest crisis in my opinion to national security in the long term. number two, higher ed. we have always been the high education capital of the globe. now, during these budget crises, we're cutting off our greatest asset in this country by disinvesting in the higher education around the country. frankly, this includes research dollars for alternative energy
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to new technologies, these kind of research money is going to keep america more competitive than south korea and more competitive than some of our european competitors. we have to be cutting edge. >> let me just interrupt you there. in terms of the election that's coming up, i interviewed for example your governor, chris christie recently, a very impressive man in? ways i thought. he made it very clear he wasn't going to run against president obama. i get the distinct feeling he wants to wait and run in 2016. would you welcome him doing that? >> look, you know, the governor, i always joke with him and i consider him a friend, i could write a dissertation on our disagreements. he does have a lot of stances i disagree with. he's had the courage in our state unlike many republicans and democrats before him to take on a lot of complicated issues that were hurting our state. so i wish him all the best often his ambitions. but what i'm focused on, as he is, to his central focus, if you listen to him, is on solving new jersey problems.
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we have disagreements that are substantive. as i look at folks here on the ground. this is a great lesson. i realized very early, governor christie and i for our own political benefit as two leaders within our state and parties, we could probably lash at each other for the full four years of his term and we may benefit politically but we would get nothing done. in stead, he and i have staked out territory where we agree on seconds, on controlling entitlement spending so we can have budgets on the local level at work and found ways to partner. i will speak out against things i disagree with cutting the earned income tax credit in the state of new jersey is tantamount to raising taxes on working poor people at a time
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people in my city really need those resources. at the end of this day, what chris christie and i have to do and this is where i respect him is find common ground and ways to work together and get beyond the rhetoric and get to the real work of trying to serve people within our communities. >> there is another way of looking at this, mr. mayor, a lot of people on both sides of both your parties have said, to me, privately, that the real race in 2016 could well be between you and governor christie, for the white house. >> well, i'm not sure if he and i will be running for the presidency but i can tell you more likely running from the presidency. look, there's a lot of hard work to do today. i'm not focused on the politics of tomorrow. you know, i was on the phone with president obama and some other mayors just yesterday. i love when i see him in private moments to see how much he's hurting over these issues and how much he gets a beating from people on both sides of the political aisle, people from his own camp and the other side. to me, that's a sign of the great leader, they're willing to have the courage to stand up for what they believe in and take the hits from both ends. this is what america needs. we need a radicalization of the center of our country, people
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not ideologues but pragmatists and look at this nation where it is and understand we are in a crisis and there's serious work to do to make it better. ultimately, i believe in the dream of america and our highest ideals. we have to find a way forward that works for everyone. that's what compromise is all about. as the great poet hughes said in the 1960s so true right now, there's a dream in this land with its back against the wall. to save the dream for one, we must save it for all. if we are to be that nation of people coming together, our hallmark is our politics is not serving those ideals. our politics is broken because it's so hard for us a nation of people with so many common interests to come together and find pragmatic ways to move our country forward. it should not be this difficult. >> mayor booker, fascinating thoughts. thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you very much for having me, pierce. appreciate you inviting me on. >> any time.
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coming up, a man who says debt is dumb. personal finance guru, dave ramsey. luck? i don't trade on luck. i trade on fundamentals. analysis.
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to understand what this country's debt crisis really means, i want to turn to an expert on personal finance who says debt is dump b. dave ramsey is the host of a money show and total makeover host. when people see figures like 14 trillion dollars would agree americans have been rather badly served by variousgovernments, haven't they. >> they have. both sides of the aisle have overserved us as though we're yuppies on a spending binge. we can see that was dump when moody's steps up and sayous bond rating is at risk based on deficit spending out of control and debt ceiling crisis. i think we see the risk of it right now. >> we're facing a financial
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armageddon if this doesn't get resolved in august, students may not get federal loans, social security checks may be held up, soldiers may not get their paychecks. this is pretty serious stuff, isn't it? >> it can be pretty serious stuff. it's a matter of prioritization if the debt ceiling isn't raised. to say somehow we will default on our debts when it's a $200 billion ticket out of an income we have, not counting deficit spending but income of 2.6 $2.6 trillion. i think .2 out of 2.6, we can probably handle our interest payment. social security is 700 or .7 out of that 2.6 trillion. i think social security checks can be paid if we prioritize them. i don't know what the administration is planning to do there. i would hope they would prioritize our debt payments and social security checks before anything else. there's plenty of money to do those things.
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there will be a lot of other things that will go really chaotic. >> tell me, for the ordinary joe in the street, what is the best way of dealing with a financial climate like this? what are your key points of advice for people who look at this and are vaguely terrified? >> one thing you need to remember is this. you don't want to wait or depend on this government to manage your life. this is a time for self-reliance like never before. wee do have a huge number of people we're dealing with on the personal financial side kind of paralyzed by the crisis and waiting on somehow a government program to fix the economy quote-unquote in stead of getting on with their own lives and taking own responsibility for their own families. so that's thing one, is to be very, very, very proactive. then thing two encompassed within that is get yourself out of debt.
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if you don't have any debt payments and you have some money in the bank and you have a problem with the economy of some kind, you have a problem with the economy of some kind, it puts you in a completely different place. and then thing three is, invest in things that are time honored, not wild and crazy and speculative things. for instance, time-honored like real estate. real estate's been down so, that to me means it's on sale because i invest with a 20-year or 30-year mentality. same thing with the stock market. good growth stock mutual funds. be very, very conservative and calm in your investing and get yourself in a very stable position without being in debt and have a pile of cash. it really does remove a lot of the angst and the stress that you feel coming out of the government's misbehavior. >> and this concept of being in debt is dumb, clearly that's not always the case. but i was talking earlier to the new york mayor corey booker who says that personal responsibility has to come into this. that too many people reached way
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above what they could financially in the good times. and is that the key lesson here, that when things look too good to be true they always are too good to be true? >> well, that's exactly right. and warren buffett said that when the tide goes out you can tell who was skinny dipping. and that's kind of what we've had happen here. people living paycheck to paycheck, deeply in credit card debt, buying homes they couldn't afford, leasing cars they couldn't afford, going to schools that they couldn't afford to go to. and we know that because they're deeply in debt to do all of those things. and then the economy has a ripple, has a problem, and boom! it takes out a whole bunch of people. so that's where we start to seat risk that's associated with debt. i am going to go so far as to say i think all debt is dumb. i've gotten completely out of debt many, many years ago. and by not having any money going out to banks, i suddenly found myself wealthy. it was an amazing transition. >> well, it's a fascinating concept that you can survive
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without debt. let's hold that thought and come back after break and you can tell me whether the american dream could actually survive without any debt at all. [ male announcer ] things seem better with travelocity's best price guarantee.
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[ gnome ] it's go time.
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right now dave ramsey the host of "the dave ramsey show" and a man who knows a lot about debt. you left us with an intriguing
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thought there, dave, that we could actually all survive without debt. is that realistic? don't lots of people need to have some form of debt just to function? >> well, i think that's the misnomer. and that's the kind of thinking that actually leads us into stuff like pay day lending where the bottom run of the socioeconomic ladder is getting ripped off by people charging them 7,800% because the premise is that the poor need debt to survive. business needs debt to survive. and yet there's a lot of businesses, even fortune 500 companies, that operate completely debt free. they're very quiet about it. they don't make a lot of noise about it. but they don't have any debt at all. now, if i could wave a wand at one instant everyone quit borrowing money that, would crash the economy. that wouldn't be intelligent. but we all know that's not going to happen. but i think we all know that if the average consumer had a whole lot less debt or even, dare we say no debt, and had a pile of money in savings as a result of
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not sending it all to bank of america, citi bank and country-wide and ford motor credit and as a result have a pile of money of their own, well, their spending would not stop. when i became debt free and became wealthy as a result, i didn't stop spending. i spent more. i've got more money to spend! so it actually drives the economy, and at the same time stabilizes it for the consumer to be instead of enslaved to these banks, to be free financially and mathematically. and it really impacts relationships. it impacts career choices. it impacts so many different areas of our lives. >> and i guess in the end the debate about how you get out of debt in terms of a nation is always pretty much the same. you either spend your way out of it, you speculate to accumulate if you like, or you go the other way, you batten down the hatchesers spend less money, you make cuts and so on. which in your eyes, in your expert debt is dumb eyes, is normally the best way to get out
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of a crisis like this? >> well, i think there's certainly differences between a nation's debt and a personal debt. someone calls me on my radio show, and they owe $366,000 in credit card debt and they make $55,000 a year. and they've been spending $96,000 a year. well, that sound pretty absurd, doesn't it? that's exactly the ratios of the federal government spending. as if the federal government were a household, that's where we stand today. and so what i would do with them is i would tell them they're not going on vacation, there's not going to be any frills. are going to work an extra job and bring in some income. and it's going to take a long time to dig out of this mess and it's going to be very painful. because they've not heard a word inside that consumer's household in years, just like washington hasn't heard a word in years. and it's an interesting word. and we need to reintroduce it to our vocabulary. the word is no, we can't afford it. no, we can't do that. it's not in the budget. and we haven't said no to anyone
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in a very long time in this nation. and we're well overdue. and it's going to be necessary to do that. >> time to say no. well, i think a lot of people might agree with that, dave. thank you very much indeed for joining me and i hope to talk to you again soon. >> thank you, piers. honor to be with you, sir. tomorrow night my exclusive interview with hugh hefner. last time he was here he said this. >> and i think you've got a scoop for me, haven't you? going to reveal the date of the wedding? >> the date of the wedding. can i tell him? >> sure. >> it is june 18th. >> june the 18th. >> this year, saturday. >> we'll be there obviously. it will be a huge cnn breaking news event. >> of course. you're invited. >> a june bride. >> well, sad that didn't work out. hugh extraordinarily was dumped almost at the aisle. he now breaks his silence on his heartbreak and new loves. exclusive interview tomorrow night with hugh hefner.

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Piers Morgan Tonight
CNN July 14, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EDT

News/Business. (2011)

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 25, Us 10, Obama 5, Cory Booker 5, Afghanistan 4, Washington 4, New York 3, Dave Ramsey 3, Massachusetts 3, Christie 2, Hugh Hefner 2, Geico 2, Moody 's 2, Barack Obama 2, Pierce 2, Chris Christie 2, Dave 2, Britain 2, Newark 2, China 2
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